3D polymeric supports promote the growth and progression of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 Oct 15;531(2):223-227. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2020.07.062. Epub 2020 Aug 12.


Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is a rare and aggressive malignancy that accounts for the majority of deaths from all thyroid cancers. ATC exhibits invasiveness and highly resistance to conventional therapies which include cytotoxic chemotherapy, the combination of BRAF and MEK inhibition and, more recently, immunotherapies, that have shown promising but still limited results. A growing knowledge on ATC tumor biology is needed for developing more effective therapies with significant better survival. Researchers have begun to utilize 3D models to culture cancer cells for in vitro studies. In this work, C643 ATC cell line was cultured on polymeric scaffolds with high-interconnected porous matrix. They exhibited distinct viability, proliferation and 3D morphology similar to an in vivo solid tumor mass. We also carried out quantitative real-time PCR experiments for monitoring Cancer Stem Cells enrichment, since they are most probably the cause of tumor resistance, reoccurrence and metastasis. The same tests were performed after cell treatment with the chemotherapic Doxorubicin. An up-regulation of the analyzed stem-cell markers confirmed the high resistance to treatment of these cell line with respect to conventional drugs. In conclusion, 3D scaffolds could be an ideal platform for studying the mechanisms that regulate ACT growth and survival and also improving novel therapeutic approaches for treatment-resistant thyroid cancer.

Keywords: 3D tumor model; Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma; Doxorubicin; Polymeric scaffold; Stem cell markers.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Shape / drug effects
  • Disease Progression*
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Thyroid Carcinoma, Anaplastic / pathology*
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Polymers
  • Doxorubicin